We call on the Government and KiwiRail to commit to maintaining existing intercity passenger rail services. Furthermore, we ask for a comprehensive national strategy for future passenger rail services built around concern for climate action and economic development.
Why is this important?
Trains connect communities and are an important part of climate change action.
In late 2021, KiwiRail, announced end of same-day intercity services between Auckland/Wellington and Picton/Christchurch. They were to be replaced by luxury multi-day rail cruises. In a win for this campaign, KiwiRail recently reversed that decision and reinstated the Northern Explorer and Coastal Pacific effective September 2022.
While this is a win for the travelling public, it is not the end of the issue. Much of Aotearoa New Zealand remains disconnected by from the rail passenger network and other services, like the the Capital Connection between Wellington and Palmerston North, remain under threat from underinvestment.
This comes at a time when the Government has said it is committed to climate action and reducing inequality.
Trains have connected friends and families for graduations, weddings, holidays, and business for generations. They have connected towns with the cities, and bought our country together. But a period of privatisation and decades of underfunding has limited the development and use of our national rail network.
Trains have an important place in our future but it requires investment and planning from this Government.
🛤 Rail provides a more sustainable and climate friendly method of transport across the country.
🛤 Rail can invigorate the social and economic life of small communities by making them accessible to remote workers and tourists.
🛤 Trains can bring our diverse country together by connecting them to people and landscapes across wide distances.
🛤 Trains provide an accessible method of point-to-point transport for the elderly and disabled.
🛤 Trains can help take traffic off the roads and improve road safety.
Rail is an important part of our past, but it should also be part of our future. Join the campaign to support the retention of a national passenger rail network.